Business in the Community launches Sheffield Pride of Place to provide much-needed support for Sheffield communities

Business in the Community launches Sheffield Pride of Place to provide much-needed support for Sheffield communities

Business in the Community (BITC) has today launched Sheffield Pride of Place, made up of leaders from the public, private and voluntary sectors to help boost economic opportunity in the city and address inequalities impacting people living and working in Sheffield. Sheffield Pride of Place is chaired by Tim Roberts, CEO of Sheffield-based land promotion and property development business Henry Boot.

The first meeting of the group follows a recent Seeing is Believing visit to Sheffield which saw business leaders from a range of companies including Aviva, Henry Boot, Sheffield Hallam University, Worldline, IKEA, Royal Mail Group, CityFibre, and Mott MacDonald. The visit gave business leaders the opportunity to better understand the interconnectivity and complexity of issues impacting people living in Sheffield, and the importance of businesses collaborating with local councils to deliver long-term change for communities. 

Following the visit, businesses have committed over £30,000 to fund the development of a forest school at Meynell Primary, and plans are now underway to build a sensory garden for children with special educational needs, as well as for the parents. In addition, a partner has been identified to provide 500 beds for the Every Child Has a Safe Place to Sleep campaign.

For forty years, BITC has worked in communities across the UK, driving real impact in communities that are at risk of being left behind, by working with businesses, local government, and voluntary organisations to reset economic ambitions and collaborate to deliver long-term impact.

Sheffield Pride of Place has representatives from Aviva, BITC’s Strategic Place Partner, alongside business leaders from Mott MacDonald, City Fibre, Sheffield Hallam University, Barratt, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield City Council and Voluntary Action Sheffield.

Baroness Valentine, Co-Director of Place at Business in the Community, said:

“Inequalities from education to employment and housing to health impact certain parts of the UK more than others. Bringing business leaders together with the public and voluntary sectors to work on a single vision and long-term plan for a place is critical to creating lasting change. BITC has been doing this for over forty years, and I’m delighted to see leaders coming together to deliver for the people of Sheffield.”

Tim Roberts, CEO of Henry Boot PLC, said:

“Business leaders have a responsibility to support the communities where their employees and customers live and work. Sheffield is a special place for Henry Boot, with our history with the City going back to the 1880s. Working with BITC and other local leaders, addressing some of the city’s challenges, and unlocking opportunities for the people of Sheffield will be a key focus for Henry Boot’s Community Partnership Plan and I’m proud to be Chairing the new Sheffield Pride of Place leadership team. I also believe that Sheffield is already stirring, and with focus will establish itself as one of the leading cities to offer opportunities for all.”

Kate Josephs, CEO of Sheffield City Council, said:

“Sheffield’s businesses drive our economy, shape our identity and are the beating heart of unique neighbourhoods across our city. They’re experts on the opportunities and challenges of learning, working and making things happen in Sheffield. I look forward to seeing their expertise brought together through the Pride of Place Board, to help us keep moving forward on Sheffield’s growth journey along with existing and new businesses.”

Notes to editor 

  1. Photo available upon request.
  2. As a Founding Member of Business in the Community (BITC), Aviva has worked alongside BITC for forty years on a range of responsible business practices, including community engagement, diversity and inclusion and sustainability.  Aviva is BITC’s first Place Partner, which builds on four decades of working together to make the UK a fairer and greener place to live and work. 
  3. BITC currently works across all UK nations and regions, with nine place-based programmes ongoing in Blackpool, Bradford, Coventry, Lowestoft Newport, Norwich, Rochdale, Sheffield and Wisbech. BITC has an ambition to support up to 50 places across the UK by 2032.
  4. Census 2021 data – Household deprivation. The dimensions of deprivation used to classify households are indicators based on four selected household characteristics: education, employment, health and housing. In the areas where BITC works, they each have higher levels of deprivation compared to the England and Wales average which is 51.7%:
  • In Blackpool, 61.77%
  • Bradford, 57.05% 
  • Coventry, 55% 
  • Norwich, 55.04% 
  • Newport, 54.14% 
  • Rochdale, 57.35% 
  • Sheffield, 54.63%  

For further information, please contact Aoife Butler Nolan, Head of Media, Public Affairs and Policy, on 07702 903 216.